THE BOSTON TEA PARTY (1763) Imagine you are a merchant in Boston selling imported goods from England with a high tax on them, when three ships come in with 342 chests of tea without planning to pay the middleman tax. That's how it was for many merchants in Boston. The East India Tea Company went bankrupt due to the dropping rate of tea sales in America because of the increasing rate of smuggling. The government's lack of support, and the newly passed Tea Act, only kindled more resentment towards the British from the colonists. This finally resulted in approximately three groups of fifty men going aboard the three British ships and dumping the tea into the Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was more an act towards self-government and displaying their rights rather a way to gain revenge at England.
The West India Tea Company found themselves bankrupt due to the amount of smuggled tea America was buying. People were buying smuggled tea because it was so much cheaper than the tea England was forcing them to buy. The company's plan was to select three major cities in America to get rid of their competition. They would hire other handlers in Philadelphia, Charleston, and New York. By having the tea sold in America, they could avoid the high taxes of England and eliminate their other competitors.
Soon tea was shipped to America for distribution to agents of the company, who was given a monopoly on its sale. Bostonians feared the tea monopoly would put some patriotic merchants out of business. The colonists also thought that if they paid the duty on the tea, the British would impose other taxes on them. The smugglers were also angry because this would wipe out their entire illegal business. Even the people in England were upset because they weren't getting tea as cheap as in America for a short time. In 1767, the British Parliament placed duties on several items imported to America.
Many colonists considered the taxes illegal and decided to not pay them by boycott. The government stopped all the duties except for imported tea. Parliament passed the Tea Act to help get the East India Tea Company out of financial trouble. This act allowed the company to sell tea in America for a much lower price. Three ships came into the Boston Harbor with 342 chests of tea without planning to pay the middleman tax to the store owners, which allowed them to make some profit due to the high taxes already placed. The colonists were outraged.
The governor of Massachusetts rejected the efforts made by the colonists to prevent the tea being unloaded until the full tax was paid to them and they were allowed to buy their tea at the same price as usual. The government leaders did not want the three ships to leave Boston until the tea was unloaded and sold; tax or no tax paid. On the night of December 16, 1773 Samuel Adams threw up his hands and cried: 'I do not see what more Bostonians can do to save their country.' Instantly from the gallery of the old church a war cry split the air. Several dozen men, their faces stained with paint, old blankets around their shoulders, pretending to be Mohawk Indians stood there. 'The Mohawks are come!' shouted someone 'Boston Harbor a teapot tonight!' shouted another. Over one hundred and fifty men split up into groups and went aboard the three ships followed by a huge crowd.
Some dropped into the holds and attached block and tackle to the tea chests. Others broke them open with axes, and shoveled the tea into moonlit Boston Harbor. In three hours of furious work, 342 chests of tea were destroyed into the harbor. It was recorded that the water in Boston Harbor was so filled with tea, that it actually did look like a teapot. The only damage was one silver lock, which lead to a lower compartment, and was soon replaced. Nothing else aboard was touched.
The Bostonians made a point by displaying their rights and dumping the tea into the large Boston harbor. They felt it as a way of showing an act of self-government and displaying their rights, not as revenge.